Convening the Dialogical Commons

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A dialogue with Aftab Omer

Aftab Omer, president of Meridian University in California, has focused his work for decades on the emergence of human capacities and transformative learning communities. It’s not surprising that he’s noticed a new dialogical opening in the internet sphere.  

With the social distancing due to COVID 19, a new quality of online conversation has been born. And it won’t leave us. Millions of people have now joined the conversation in online conference spaces like Zoom and others.  

These are not chat rooms–they are real, live, face-to-face meetings that are local and global, for personal reasons or business purposes. This new live and alive character of global conversations changes the way we can come together.

Someone started to call these meetings “digital campfires.” Just as our ancestors 100,000 years ago came together around campfires and started to develop language, tell stories, and develop culture, our new digital campfires come alive around the globe, giving us an unprecedented way to connect across cultures and distances.  We can share personal stories, share information, and start to reform our global culture. Nobody owns these conversations. Nobody owns their creative insights. Aftab Omer calls them the new digital commons.  

This week in Radio evolve, Thomas Steininger speaks with Aftab Omer about the nerw emergence of the dialogical commons in our global cyberspace.